What I Read in September...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I can't believe that today is the last day of September. This month flew by. Probably because of my vacation, but still, I can't believe tomorrow is October. Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I am definitely not complaining!

While we were in New York City, we visited a famous bookstore called Strand. The store is huge, multiple floors of used, new, and rare books. One of the books I found screamed New York, so I found it at my local library and saved myself $10! This book is like an up close and personal look into the Mad Men era. It's a great read with so much insight, it's one you won't want to miss!

by Jane Maas


"What was it like to be an advertising woman on Madison Avenue in the 60s and 70s – that Mad Men era of casual sex and professional serfdom? A real-life Peggy Olson reveals it all in this immensely entertaining and bittersweet memoir.

Mad Women is a tell-all account of life in the New York advertising world by Jane Maas, a copywriter who succeeded in the primarily male jungle depicted in the hit show Mad Men.  

Fans of the show are dying to know how accurate it is: was there really that much sex at the office? Were there really three-martini lunches? Were women really second-class citizens? Jane Maas says the answer to all three questions is unequivocally “yes.” Her book, based on her own experiences and countless interviews with her peers, gives the full stories, from the junior account man whose wife almost left him when she found the copy of Screw magazine he’d used to find “a date” for a client, to the Ogilvy & Mather’s annual Boat Ride, a sex-and-booze filled orgy, from which it was said no virgin ever returned intact. Wickedly funny and full of juicy inside information, Mad Women also tackles some of the tougher issues of the era, such as unequal pay, rampant, jaw-dropping sexism, and the difficult choice many women faced between motherhood and their careers." source


What have you been reading recently?

Pumpkin Spice & Corn Flake Bars

Monday, September 29, 2014

Growing up, we rarely were treated to homemade Rice Krispies treats. When my mom would make a batch of sweet treats, she almost always used Corn Flakes. Only now, as an adult do I understand why. Corn Flakes are so much cheaper than Rice Krispies! Even if you use store brand cereal, the corn flake cereal will be cheaper. So when I signed up to make some sort of "bar" dessert to celebrate a co-workers recent passing of the Bar Exam, I knew I wanted to make marshmallow treats and that the corn flake option would be great!


My office tends to have quite a few potlucks throughout the year, particularly during the holiday season. Since this was the first potluck of the fall season, I was set on bringing in some pumpkin spice flavor through my dessert. I bought a can of pumpkin and planned to incorporate it with the marshmallows, but I unexpectedly found pumpkin spice marshmallows (!) at Wal Mart and used those instead.
As with most baking (although there is no actual "baking" involved in making these bars) patience will be your best friend in getting these treats to turn out perfectly.

Since I was bringing these for a potluck, I added more corn flakes and marshmallows than most other recipes call for, but I like the outcome (thicker treats, with a subtle - rather than intense - pumpkin flavor).



Ingredients:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
10 C. corn flake cereal
1 8 oz package of Pumpkin Spice Mallows
1 10 oz package plain mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (click here for my mix)
Non-stick cooking spray
9x13 casserole dish

Directions:
1. Over medium-low heat, melt your butter, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice;
2. Once melted, add in one bag of marshmallows;
3. Slowly stir until the marshmallows are melted;
4. Once melted, add in the second bag of marshmallows and slowly stir until these also melt;
5. Turn down heat to low;
6. Pour in your cereal and gently mix until the marshmallows are combined throughout the cereal;
7. Spray your pan and your hands and dump the mixture in to the pan;
8. Using your hands, spread the mixture into the pan;
9. Let it cool and then cut into desired sized bars;
10. Enjoy!


As long as you keep the bars covered, they should stay soft and gooey for a week or so (if they last that long!).

What's your favorite fall flavor? Mine's a toss up between pumpkin spice and apple spice.

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Premiere Week is Here!

Friday, September 26, 2014

I love TV. I can't lie. It is on most of the time when I am home. I mean, I don't sit and watch aimlessly for hours; but maybe because I'm home alone 99% of the time, I keep it on for background noise. Last year about this time, I lost my free basic cable (thanks, Xfinity), so I've been using a combination of an antenna, Hulu, and Netflix to keep my TV addiction fed.

So these past two week have been great with all of the new shows premiering and new seasons starting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all of the news shows I like end up getting picked up for the full season. I hate it when a series I like doesn't make it past just a few episodes. Check out what I'm watching (or looking forward to watching) this season.

New Shows







Returning Faves






and last, but certainly not least, the show I'm waiting to have posted on Netflix...


Any of your favorites on my list? Any good shows I am missing?

Easy Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A few months ago, I told you that I was guest posting at Homework with a delicious cookie recipe. Today I'm sharing this easy recipe with you so you will have it on hand for all of the pot lucks that seem to pop up during fall and winter!


These cookies are sweet, soft, and chewy. Just the way a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies
Yield 5 dozen small cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy, but chunky would be good too)
1/2 Cup Softened Margarine
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
Jams or Jellies of choice

Directions:

Cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 330° (odd I know, but it's what worked for me) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper;
2. Mix all of the ingredients together (no special trick here -just dump them all in your bowl and start mixing);
3. Once mixed well, chill the dough for about five minutes;
4. After five minutes, roll the dough between your palms into small balls about 3/4" inch in diameter;
5. Place on your baking sheet and place into the oven for 15-20 minutes;
6. Place unused batter in the refrigerator while the first batch is baking;
7. Once the batch is baked, immediately remove from the oven and take them off the baking sheet to cool;
8. Roll the dough balls for the next batch and place in the oven (follow steps 4-6);
9. While your second batch is baking, press the bottom of a measuring spoon* into the top of each cooling cookie being sure to rotate the measuring spoon to make a circle (*gauge which measuring spoon to use on how big your cookies are);
10. Let cookies completely cool;
11. Repeat steps 4-10 until all of the batter is used.


Filling:
1. Place 1/2 cup of jam or jelly into a microwave safe bowl;
2. Microwave for 20 seconds;
3. Remove from the microwave and stir to break up any gloppy areas;
4. Place back into the microwave for another 20 seconds - at this point the jam or jelly should be pour-able;
5. Place cookies next to each other on a cooled cookie sheet;
6. Carefully spoon in the pour-able jam or jelly into each cookie, taking care not to over-pour;
7. Once all cookies on the sheet are filled, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to cool - the jam and jelly will become gelatinous again after being in the fridge;
8. Remove from the refrigerator - and that batch is done!
9. Repeat steps 5-8 until all the cookies are filled.

Enjoy!


I took these cookies to work for a pot luck and had people coming back for seconds and even thirds! If you have any left over, eat them store them in an air-tight container.

They are best enjoyed with a cold glass of milk!


What flavor jam would you use in your PB&J cookies?

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